Immigration bill revived the Reagan Coalition

Something important just happened, and we should notice it before the moment slips away: Just for a few weeks, before the disastrous immigration bill was defeated in the Senate, the old Reagan Coalition came alive again across party lines. That fact could impact the 2008 election more than any other.

It's hard to know who felt more relieved when the flawed immigration bill self-destructed last week in the Senate -- Republicans, conservatives, or ... Democrats. Because the isue of immigration threatens to revive the old Reagan Democrats. There's nothing Democrats fear more than a revival of those habitual "D" voters who turned in their millions to a straight conservative president, because he expressed own their deepest values and beliefs. Those voters have been abandoned and betrayed by the Democratic Party for decades, but they still won't admit it. Before the immigration issue fades, we should think about bringing them back into the tent.

Middle-class Democrats live like conservatives and vote like Lefties.  They have double lives -- in good part because they fall for the media party line. For a lot of Democrats, liberalism  proves they are good people. They confuse liberal cant with real compassion, when it is of course only the appearance of compassion in the hands of skilled demagogues.  But if you just probe them a little bit, their conservative side pops out. They've been fooled for decades, and they are afraid to be scapegoated by the PC Police if they admit what they really believe. So they will never say it. 

Part of Ronald Reagan's genius was to convey what a decent and sunny person he was. It was hard to smear him as an evil-racist-sexist monster. Reagan visibly liked people, and that feeling shone through everthing he did. That is one reason why Hollywood elected him president of the Screen Actors' Guild, long before he went into professional politics. They knew him, they liked and trusted him in spite of their ideological tics.

Fred Thompson has some of that likeability, and so does Rudi Giuliani (to me, at least). Mitt Romney looks like a nice guy, but he doesn't communicate it quite so spontaneously. He's a little too well rehearsed. This isn't something you can create. Most actors don't have that likeability. Thousands of everyday people do.

You can't manufacture a Reagan, but a skilled GOP nominee can appeal to Reagan Democrats by conveying wisdom and common sense on immigration. The truth is that few conservatives are gunning for 12 to 20 million illegals to be simply booted out. What we want is for common sense to prevail, for illegal immigration to be brought down over time, for the borders to work, for criminals and terrorists to be caught. We want the end of an immigration system that is corrupt and deceives millions of us as a matter of routine.  That's not cruel or nasty. Common sense on immigration commands very wide agreement across the country, and we need a president who can appeal to that.

George W. has a spine of steel, and on a lot of issues he's had  conservatives firmly on his side. In the War on Terror we needed someone with his strength and moral clarity. Now let's look for someone who can bring the Reagan Democrats back to their true beliefs. Immigration is one issue that can make that happen.

James Lewis blogs at http://www.dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/
Something important just happened, and we should notice it before the moment slips away: Just for a few weeks, before the disastrous immigration bill was defeated in the Senate, the old Reagan Coalition came alive again across party lines. That fact could impact the 2008 election more than any other.

It's hard to know who felt more relieved when the flawed immigration bill self-destructed last week in the Senate -- Republicans, conservatives, or ... Democrats. Because the isue of immigration threatens to revive the old Reagan Democrats. There's nothing Democrats fear more than a revival of those habitual "D" voters who turned in their millions to a straight conservative president, because he expressed own their deepest values and beliefs. Those voters have been abandoned and betrayed by the Democratic Party for decades, but they still won't admit it. Before the immigration issue fades, we should think about bringing them back into the tent.

Middle-class Democrats live like conservatives and vote like Lefties.  They have double lives -- in good part because they fall for the media party line. For a lot of Democrats, liberalism  proves they are good people. They confuse liberal cant with real compassion, when it is of course only the appearance of compassion in the hands of skilled demagogues.  But if you just probe them a little bit, their conservative side pops out. They've been fooled for decades, and they are afraid to be scapegoated by the PC Police if they admit what they really believe. So they will never say it. 

Part of Ronald Reagan's genius was to convey what a decent and sunny person he was. It was hard to smear him as an evil-racist-sexist monster. Reagan visibly liked people, and that feeling shone through everthing he did. That is one reason why Hollywood elected him president of the Screen Actors' Guild, long before he went into professional politics. They knew him, they liked and trusted him in spite of their ideological tics.

Fred Thompson has some of that likeability, and so does Rudi Giuliani (to me, at least). Mitt Romney looks like a nice guy, but he doesn't communicate it quite so spontaneously. He's a little too well rehearsed. This isn't something you can create. Most actors don't have that likeability. Thousands of everyday people do.

You can't manufacture a Reagan, but a skilled GOP nominee can appeal to Reagan Democrats by conveying wisdom and common sense on immigration. The truth is that few conservatives are gunning for 12 to 20 million illegals to be simply booted out. What we want is for common sense to prevail, for illegal immigration to be brought down over time, for the borders to work, for criminals and terrorists to be caught. We want the end of an immigration system that is corrupt and deceives millions of us as a matter of routine.  That's not cruel or nasty. Common sense on immigration commands very wide agreement across the country, and we need a president who can appeal to that.

George W. has a spine of steel, and on a lot of issues he's had  conservatives firmly on his side. In the War on Terror we needed someone with his strength and moral clarity. Now let's look for someone who can bring the Reagan Democrats back to their true beliefs. Immigration is one issue that can make that happen.

James Lewis blogs at http://www.dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/